Book Review: The Falconer – Elizabeth May

Book Review: The Falconer – Elizabeth May

The Falconer #1
Release Date: September 19th 2013
Publisher: Gollancz
Pages: 368
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I bought a copy of this at a Waterstones event with Elizabeth May & Victoria Aveyard
Rating: 4.25/5 stars


One girl’s nightmare is this girl’s faery tale

She’s a stunner.
Edinburgh, 1844. Eighteen-year-old Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, has everything a girl could dream of: brains, charm, wealth, a title—and drop-dead beauty.

She’s a liar.
But Aileana only looks the part of an aristocratic young lady. she’s leading a double life: She has a rare ability to sense the sìthíchean—the faery race obsessed with slaughtering humans—and, with the aid of a mysterious mentor, has spent the year since her mother died learning how to kill them.

She’s a murderer.
Now Aileana is dedicated to slaying the fae before they take innocent lives. With her knack for inventing ingenious tools and weapons—from flying machines to detonators to lightning pistols—ruthless Aileana has one goal: Destroy the faery who destroyed her mother.

She’s a Falconer.
The last in a line of female warriors born with a gift for hunting and killing the fae, Aileana is the sole hope of preventing a powerful faery population from massacring all of humanity. Suddenly, her quest is a lot more complicated. She still longs to avenge her mother’s murder—but she’ll have to save the world first.

The first volume of a trilogy from an exciting new voice in young adult fantasy, this electrifying thriller combines romance and action, steampunk technology and Scottish lore in a deliciously addictive read.


The Falconer is a book I’ve had on my TBR for a while but just not had the opportunity to pick it up. I ended up reading it to fulfil a readathon prompt for a steampunk read and I’m absolutely kicking myself for not picking this one up earlier. I completely fell in love with the world that May has created and I’ve already ordered books two and three in the trilogy.

The Falconer follows Aileana – she’s a young aristocratic lady but she’s also a Falconer, one of the few people who can detect sìthíchean – the faeries who hunt and murder humans. Aileana must juggle two lives and in the process avenge her mother who was murdered by one. When tracking her mother’s murderer Aileana uncovers a darker plot to destroy humanity and must do everything she can to save the ones she loves.

The Falconer is such a compelling and engrossing read. It’s set in a steampunk Edinburgh which is something I’ve never encountered before and loved. I went to University in Edinburgh and loved the twists May put on the city. May has a really gorgeous writing style and I became completely caught up in the fascinating world and beautiful writing of The Falconer. If you’re looking for a new fae read, this is definitely one to pick up.

Aileana is a fascinating protagonist too and I loved seeing her juggle being a lady in society as well as a hunter. She’s tough and clever and such a kick ass main character. Likewise Kiaran and Gavin were really interesting characters and I also enjoyed the romance in the story. The book ends on a bit of a cliffhanger so if you’re planning to read this one you might want to pick up the next book two because if you’re anything like me you’ll be dying to find out what happens next.

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